By Jan Bergemann

Published June 14, 2013


Latest since the continuing drought we all know that St. Augustine grass, the preferred lawn of community associations, is just a water-guzzler. And the Florida legislature reacted in 2009, when it added paragraph (4) to FS 720.3075 (Prohibited clauses in association documents). Together with FS 373.185 (Local Florida-friendly landscaping ordinances) these provisions in the statutes make it abundantly clear that owners have the right to implement Florida-friendly landscaping (FFL) – no matter what the governing documents of the association say. But boards try to impose rules making it very difficult for owners to switch to Florida–friendly landscaping. And despite some boards claiming otherwise, it really doesn’t matter when the association was created – or when the documents were recorded. This law is valid for all homeowners’ associations – old and new!


Looking at the many lawsuits that popped up over the last few years when association boards tried to prevent homeowners from switching from St. Augustine grass to FFL, it’s pretty obvious that judges follow the new laws and side with the homeowners.


But boards try it over and over again, most likely figuring that it’s only association money they are wasting.


These are the kind of headlines we find only all too often in the media:

And the list goes on!

In 2010 the fight over Florida-friendly landscaping reached its peak. Association boards were testing the new laws. Florida's media was filled with reports over fights between associations and owners trying to implement Florida-friendly landscaping. At that time I wrote this editorial:



But do you think that HOA boards have learned in the meanwhile that there are laws in place courts are enforcing in regards to landscaping?


I can tell you: Definitely not! The fights continue and keep attorneys and courts busy.


What’s so difficult to understand? Florida has a water shortage and laws were enacted that should help to preserve our most precious commodity: WATER! PERIOD!

All fields are mandatory!

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Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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